David Schwimmer on His Return to Acting and Why Actors Should Go to College

Okay, so it’s hard to think of David Schwimmer as anyone else than Ross on TV’s Friends, a character he played on the highly-rated show for ten seasons.  In fact, Schwimmer seems completely aware of this problem, spending much of his post-Friends life behind the camera as a director. But Schwimmer, who began his acting career in theater, is actually returning to the stage in New York in the new comedy Detroit at Playwrights Horizons.  Schwimmer talks to TheaterMania about his return to acting and what advice he would give his young daughter about her career.

Schwimmer admits that part of the reason why he decided to star in Detroit is that it is convenient for him.  He explains, “The last several years I’ve been directing movies, and each movie takes so long to actually develop and shoot and do the post-production — especially Trust. Then my wife and I had a baby, so I wanted to be home a lot, but I’ve been chomping to get back on stage. So, when Detroit came about, I jumped.”

Despite having plenty of contacts for his daughter if she ever decides to become an actress, Schwimmer reveals that he would encourage her to go to college first, as his parents did.  He explains, “I think I still agree with that advice. Back when I went to college, I think it was more important to have that liberal arts education, a degree to fall back on. It might be considered less important now. But what I wouldn’t trade for anything is the college experience, and learning stuff outside your very narrow, specific field. Some of my favorite courses at university were History, History of Ancient Greece, Science, Speech Pathology, and Philosophy. Getting a broader education makes one a better artist.”

Detroit runs through October 7 at Playwrights Horizons (416 W 42nd Street).

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